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Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
Contact: Dave Dahlen, 406 888-7930
Officials at Glacier National Park are pleased to announce that the combined efforts of two park interdisciplinary teams were awarded the National Park Service Intermountain Region’s Garrison Gold award February 2, 2006, for their innovative efforts in informational and interpretive programming in 2005. The award was given jointly to the Divisions of Administration, Facility Management, and Interpretation and Education in special recognition of the interdivisional nature of the efforts. The award recognizes Glacier’s interdisciplinary approach to develop: 1) waysides and static-panel signs and 2) electronic flat-panel signs and interactive media. These efforts have broadly expanded Glacier’s information and interpretive services, while creating prototypes for other projects in Glacier and other parks to utilize. The team members for the waysides and static-panel signs included: Dave Yeats, Bill Hayden, and David Restivo. Tim Gilk, Bill Hayden, and David Restivo comprised the electronic flat-panel signs and interactive media team. “It is a pleasure to have the teamwork that these employees have demonstrated be recognized,” commented park Superintendent Mick Holm. He added, “What they’ve accomplished as a team, and the enthusiasm they have shown in getting the work done, can’t be matched.” Informational and interpretive waysides are now produced in-house using off-the-shelf technology, resulting in a more cost-efficient product. Waysides are the familiar roadside signs found along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and many other locations in the park. The team developed an approach that allows the park to quickly and effectively respond to any unexpected natural event or process with wayside exhibits of high quality and appearance. Additionally, a prototype computer-based interactive kiosk that provides visitors with information and insight on a variety of park areas and features has been developed. These panels and the kiosk will serve all levels of visitor interest and will be located in the park’s visitor centers. The Glacier Fund and the Glacier Natural History Association provided funding for much of this innovative work to be accomplished. Additionally, Glacier’s interactive web page (“eHikes”) was introduced in the fall of 2005 that is the first of a series of experiential virtual hikes. The site provides an introduction to a specific area of the park, complete with informational and interpretive messages, photographs, video and audio clips, trip planning advice, and maps. Additional eHikes will be launched for other areas of the park in the coming months. The prize received its name from the longtime superintendent of Big Bend National Park, Lemuel "Lon" Garrison, characterized as someone "who over his forty year career played an important role in defining the role of NPS professionals today."